Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How are you spending your time?

Let’s face it. As much as we struggle with Solomon’s outlook on life, his journal is a reality check for many of us. As he struggles with the frustrations and conundrums of life, we often find ourselves in his shoes asking the hard questions and trying to find answers. However, we quickly realize that life is not always black and white. All too often there is more gray in life.
Because these frustrations leave a void in our life, we turn to our resources and energies to fill that emptiness. We think that a little more of this or some of that will fill the void in our souls. As we have seen over the last two weeks nothing in this life will ever satisfy the longing of your soul than a deep relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Are you spending time getting to know Jesus? Are you more interested in His work and agenda? How is your prayer life? Are you in His Word? How do you spend your time during the day? As I thought of these questions, I was reminded of the following parable:

Let's say that tomorrow morning you got a call from the president of your bank, and he told you that an anonymous donor who loved you very much would be depositing 86,400 pennies into your bank account every day. The only condition is that you will have to spend all of the money. You can't carry it over from one day to the next, and what isn't spent will be taken away. When you take out your calculator, you realize that it amounts to a lot of money each year.

Someone who loves you very much deposits 86,400 seconds into your bank of time every day. They cannot be carried over from one day to the next. There is no such thing as a 27-hour day. You are given 24 hours each day to use as you choose. And you can choose to give that time to the Lord. The Bible tells us to redeem the time, because the days are evil (see Ephesians 5:16). That means to make sacred and wise use of every opportunity.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

- The Dash -

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend, he referred to the dates on her tombstone from beginning –-- to the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth, and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own; the cars. . . the house. . .the cash. What matters is how we live and love when we’re living out our dash.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile. . . Remembering that this special dash might only last a while.

So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash. . . Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

- Anonymous

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

He Took It All!

The Lord’s Supper is a celebratory occasion. As you take of the elements, remember what our Lord did when He committed Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God. All of sin was poured on Him and He drank of the cup which the Father poured out as an expiation for our sins. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Read the following excerpt from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers:

The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that happened to Him— something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.

Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. That contradicts the revealed truth of God in Jesus Christ. It makes the Cross unnecessary, and the redemption "much ado about nothing." God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ. God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death. "We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor . . ." ( Hebrews 2:9). The greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ— "It is finished!" (John 19:30). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.

Anything that lessens or completely obliterates the holiness of God, through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Never allow yourself to believe that Jesus Christ stands with us, and against God, out of pity and compassion, or that He became a curse for us out of sympathy for us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by divine decree. Our part in realizing the tremendous meaning of His curse is the conviction of sin. Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I read a recent column in a bulletin from my home church in Orangeburg, SC, and I want to share some of the pastor’s thoughts.

The apostle John tells us that when we are connected to Jesus and bearing fruit, it will be evidence that we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-8

How connected are you?

Are you connected to people who help you grow in the Lord? Do you surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you? Are you connected with people who challenge you to walk closer to the Lord? Are you connected to people who will hold you accountable?

Are you connected to the community? Are you living the life of a follower of Jesus Christ? Is your life making a difference here in Marietta? Are the people of Marietta changed by your life? Do they see Jesus through your words and actions? Are you doing everything you can to share the gospel of Christ with others? Are you sensitive to people’s needs around you and looking for ways to meet their needs?

Are you connected to the church? Do you seek to serve along with others at North Hills Baptist to carry out God’s will for this church? Are you more than just a pew sitter on Sunday morning? Do you go beyond the services to build deeper relationships with one another? Are you working together with others or separately? Are you using your spiritual gift(s)? Are you involved in ministries here at North Hills?

Are you connected to Christ? Are you totally reliant on God and Him alone? Are you seeking His will for your life? Are you disciplining yourself to know more about Christ through prayer? Reading and meditating on His Word? Spending time alone with God? Are you “cause-driven” or “Christ-driven”? Are you serving “cause” you have to? Or do you serve because you seek to honor Christ with your life?

Again, how connected are you?